Devised Theater: A Venn Diagram

Devised Theater: A Venn Diagram
This diagram was created by the co-producing artistic directors of Rude Mechs to depict the complexity of creating and crediting collaboratively devised work for theatrical performance.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

This I Believe essay #6

NOTE**** This I Believe #6 will now be due on Tuesday, Feb 24. If you have already posted one, you will have the pleasure of reading what others post for Feb 24.****

Please post your essay here before class on Tuesday, Feb 24. Maybe read the other essays posted last week. Leave a few comments.


  1. This I believe: Edgar Degas is a scumbag.

    I guess I can’t really prove this. I’m only speaking from what I see in his art. He paints as if looking through a keyhole, his subjects uncomfortably unaware of his presence, of his observance. This coupled with the fact that over half of his body of work depicted young ballet dancers leaves me with an uneasy feeling. Despite this, Degas is considered one of The Greats. Technically, he is skilled, and that’s not something I can or will dismiss. I just have issues with his subject matter and where he puts us as the viewer physically (in a position where the subject is unaware). This becomes even more cringingly clear when looking at some of his later paintings, when he developed an affinity for painting women bathing, toweling off, and brushing their hair. Almost all of these women have their back to him/us/the viewer, and zero of them are looking at us. Eye contact is one of the prime factors that creates a sort of autonomy for the subject of the painting. I believe if more of his paintings had this quality I wouldn’t feel as grossed out by him as I do. But he never painted these women that way, so the uneasy feeling remains. Do I associate this same uneasy feeling with those who admire and even enjoy the work of Degas? Definitely not.

    Sometimes I worry, though, about the ethics of liking the art made by someone I don’t like as a person. A mild example of this would be my love for the band tUnE-yArDs whose singer, Merrill Garbus, is guilty of cultural appropriation as well as a tiny bit of misogyny. Her misogyny I witnessed on an Instagram post where she essentially said skinny women aren’t real women. Her cultural appropriation is most evident on her new album in which Haitian drum beats are largely featured and one line from a song is even “I come from the land of slaves,” but she’s a white woman from Connecticut. Why do I feel ok with the fact that I supported this behavior by going to one of her shows and listening to her music? Ultimately, there is something inside that allows the separation of bad deeds and art, apparently.

    I can’t separate the two with Degas. I roll my eyes any time he comes up on an essay question, and I certainly pepper my writing with undertones of my hatred, but for the most part I am able to distance myself in academic situations.

    1. For reasons at least partially different, I have a similarly hard time disguising my feelings about the Impressionists--nearly all of them.

    2. From someone who's extent of art history is looking at pretty pictures on google image, it is really intriguing to look at these images in the context that you have described them.

      I have similar struggles to artist/craft disparity when it comes to movie directors, mostly Woody Allen and especially Polanski.

  2. The dining room was always dark. It only had two windows and both of them were covered by the roof of the deep porch where we would sit for iced lemonade after a day of catching and stacking thirty pound bales launched from the bailer into the slow-moving open-wall wagon where we teetered atop growing stacks of baled hay. Blisters formed and broke and formed again on my fingers by noon. By three my hands, not conditioned to this work, bled.

    But it was winter now and there was no chance for lemonade on the snow-covered porch. There was no chance that lemon juice on the outside of a chilled aluminum cup would find broken skin on the inside of my hand. We arrived with mittens and scarves and could just barely see them now, heaped in the darkest corner of the dining room behind the fishtank which had two things: the only electric light in the room and a single goldfish. In my memory, the fish swam in a motionless suspension due to having grown so large it could no longer even turn within the tank.

    The next room was nearly as dark. It had two long couches with spindled wood sides and cushions so deeply textured they made Triscuits feel porcelain smooth. There were three wooden puzzles on a full-length coffee table. One was a barrel. Another was a cube. Each time I visited I would take one apart and, unable to get it back together, found myself scolded for curiosity.

    I never went upstairs.

    I don’t remember going into the kitchen, where all the men gathered after coming in from the barn, or the bathroom either.

    I do remember running back into the dining room which was, for the first time in my experience, filled with light. The oldest boys were carrying a large home-made sap-boiling pot from the top of the wood stove to the table. Then, with the swiftness of rising steam, the same woman who filled my aluminum cup with lemonade laid down thin lines of maple syrup on snow she had packed thick into a baking dish and on this April evening following nearly eight months of snow, I wanted more.

    I believe in Jack’s Wax.

    1. In your essays, it seems there is always a very careful expression of sensory activity without a lot of emphasis on emotions. It makes me feel very strongly that I have no idea who you are, while simultaneously shocking me because it seems so much like what's really "inside of you" as opposed to anything I thought before...
      I was saying in class the other day that it's scary to think about commenting on each other's posts. The gravity of our personal admissions is why I feel this way; when something so touching and telling is written by someone it feels like that admission shouldn't be marred by an outsider's comments.
      But I feel more fulfilled and connected to everyone having read from them, so I'm trusting that they'll forgive me if I do.

    2. I'm very thankful that you're letting us know about you.

    3. Emotions are hard for me to find without first mining personal stories of my own history. When recapturing memories like this one, I ache for the ways in which I have lost the simplicities of my childhood and I realize how deeply hidden our past experiences are within our present selves--in the ways that we present ourselves. It is reassuring to hear that you are thankful for my sharing a few stories, but I am equally thankful to you and to CETA for giving me a reason to find myself again in memories too often lost.

  3. Every night urban light pollution floods the sky. We have never been a more depressive, anxious society than we are now. In sixth grade my class took a weekend long trip to Pine Mountain out in the middle of no where Kentucky. On our first night there, the aged voices of our guides lead us out into the woods and told us to turn off our flashlights. After gasps and jumps at the sound of owls, the occasional transgressive whisper, we made it to the edge of the forest. We stepped out into a field, above me was the clearest sky I had ever seen. A vast blanket of stars danced above me. I discovered in that moment how small I really am, but curiously how infinitely connected I am to the world around me. Suddenly all of my problems became tiny enough to be held in the palm of my hand and my ego fell away from me, I told myself, "Never forget this"

    There is a park about twenty minutes away from my home in Louisville. I drive there often, habitually bringing friends to walk with me. I take to paths through the trees first. It is here I find this subtle serenity that quiets my mind and soul. As I walk the muddy paths through the forests I feel veils of stress and worry lift away from me. I am no longer closed up in my thoughts, instead I am a part of the life around me. I am connected. I miss these trees and this park deeply, like an old friend, when I am away in Lexington.

    Our modern American emphasis on the individual and the prevalence of technology breeds loneliness. When in reality we are never alone. We are not some separate sentient anomaly, but a small miracle that exists in a universe of greater miracles.
    I believe that we would be a lot better off if we began to construct a society that emphasizes this interdependence and connection, instead of isolation and hostel self reliance.

    1. Ask Manning about it, but Wendell Berry has written an essay which speaks strongly to what you believe in, I wish I remembered the name but my class read it in FYS last year. Check it out!

    2. The essay content was Wendell Berry and the Red River Gorge, if you ask Manning.

  4. I believe in telling children the truth.

    One of the first times I remember having any sort of discomfort with “large concepts” was around ten years old. I had been helping my mom carry some amazingly bright blue liquid fertilizer contained a yellow, nozzled canister to the big garden out back. To this day I have a hard time accepting that it was not Kool-Aid, and that I absolutely should not drink it ever, but okay, Mom, whatever. I still loved being outside, and I loved helping my parents with our big field of dirt and vegetables; my default childhood memory is “our garden.” As I walked out the back door to reach it, however, something was suddenly different. After glancing at the oven, I thought, “It's already five o'clock...I'm going to run out of time soon. My day is almost over. What am I going to do...? The sun's going to go down and I'll have to go to bed...” And I panicked. I suddenly and wholly could not stand the idea that each day only lasted around 12 hours, and that the hours would keep running out forever, and that I would always have to go to bed after they did. I suffered in these thoughts for a while and wondered how my mom didn't feel the same way. So eventually I asked her.

    “Kris, what are you talking about? It's okay...that's just how it works. You have to sleep when you get tired, and the sun does too. Besides, it's only 5 right now, so you still have a long time before then!” It was hard to think “it's only five” instead of “it's already five,” but somehow, knowing that the sun needed us to give it a break made me feel less anxious about nighttime and the inevitability of the passing of time...

    ...until I kept having to scratch itches when I was trying to sleep. As I lay in my bed hoping for a dream where I could have telekinetic powers like my favorite Teen Titan Raven, I would almost cross the finish line to dreamland so many times. Alas, without fail, some small part of me would start itching, and I would have to move to scratch it. I was tortured for hours, thinking, “Every time I move, I reset the amount of time it takes to fall asleep! I'll NEVER fall asleep!” I was highly distressed, thinking that there was certainly a fixed length of time that had to be passed while lying completely motionless or it was biologically impossible to fall asleep, and I kept breaking that fixed length of time by scratching those gosh-darned itches.

    Why hast thou forsaken me, dearest Lord?

    Miraculously, a sentence my mom had repeated to me often came to save the day, “God can do anything.” At the time, this sentence comforted me and helped me think, “Well, if that's true, then God can help me fall asleep even if I start itching!” Thanks, God. It's funny that you grant itchy kids the ability to fall asleep peacefully, but continue to decline comment on the issues of poverty, hate crimes, and all other injustices “your world” is full of.

    The sun doesn't need to take breaks.

  5. I venture around the around the upstairs of my grandmothers house as my family drinks and continues to dine downstairs. I always find myself at every function my grandmother puts on, may this be the annual birthday after party, the uk basketball game, Christmas, or Thanksgiving, venturing around the old house alone. I venture upstairs into the playroom, which was really just a guest room, but there was the closet. It was so huge and full of all our toys. Yet now things are different as she slowly modernizes the house so it will get more money on the market. There is not longer a window at child level in the closet, there is no longer long windows that almost reach the ground out looking her backyard garden. But everything inside is remotely the same. The wood blocks are still arranged into the grandchildrens’ names, the basket of animal figurines still the same, the old vintage cars still line the wall, and the board games ranging back to when my mother was young still collect dust on the dresser. I step out of the room and cross the hall into the video game room where the Nintendo sits. I can imagine all of us grandkids huddled around waiting for our try on super Mario 3. We all knew we could beat the tenth world if we tried. As I slowly move back downstairs I can still visualize the soccer games in their hallway.

    I move into the tv room where I spent most of my time and recognize more artifacts. I recognize behind the new hd tv all the old vhs tapes. I look at each one and recognize how much my grandmother cared, two whole seasons of dragon ball z taped onto vhs, the Three Musketeers, Hook, Indigo League Pokémon. I can visualize the Disney vhs’s as well. Mulan happens to be the most worn out. I lay down on the rug that I always seemed to take for granted, I now know it is worth 10,000 dollars. I sit down and still recognize the same bristle and age of the carpet as if it was still the same; I guess a 200 year old rug doesn’t change too much in twenty. I sit up to sit in granddads chair that every grandchild has dibs on. I relax into it as I used to relax into his arms, I relax into the chair as he did every night as he read. At this point the chair is falling apart, the leather has broken at the seams, I really hope I’m the one that can fix it. I continue walking around finding stories in each artifact. It is sad that once my grandmother passes all of this will be gathered into an estate rather than calling it a home. I guess it’s hard not too when everything is worth so much. It is hard to believe that any of their kids will let any of these antiques go, the stories that they hold how can they bare to see it?

  6. I recognize that these artifacts have price tags, but to me they are priceless. The stories that they hold make me recognize how much this house has meant to me, how each book read to me here I want to read to my own children. How I want to envision my own family walking across these rugs. I want these things in a strictly selfish way, but I don’t want to see someone else going away from the auction with an 8,000 dollar antique chester drawers that held my grandfathers clothes, or priceless Rookwood Pottery that held the flowers picked from my grandmothers garden. I don’t want the artifacts that I believe made up my childhood, that defined what I tend to find value in taken from us. I know it’s a lot of money, but we already have enough money, can we just auction it out between us, the family? Because we all know that’s what Grandad would want, he didn’t work on antiques and put them in the house for all of us to use and admire to only watch them go into another house. I believe in the things within my grandmother’s house, I believe that they defined in me a way of determining value in the stories that things hold rather than their extrinsic value. I believe that without this house and without the things and people within it I wouldn’t be the same. I believe that if we sell all of these artifacts we will regret it because money doesn’t compare to the memories within these artifacts. We can sell the shell that held this all together but the things within are what we all lived and loved around so lets not get rid of that.

  7. I believe in my faith. And this is a difficult thing for me to say because when I say “faith” typically, you say religion. People think God, and my family thinks catholicism. But I think many other things. My religion and what I deem faithful is specific to me and that is what I love about it. I worship and pray to my own made up gods and random things in a way that is just as sacred and strong as those who pray to their (more recognizable) Gods daily. I like that my faith is a mess of things that don’t make sense with each other.

    Worship is defined as the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. If my deity is our naturally evolved existence, I worship little moments of clear communication and physical connection. And I praise the things that bring me these moments.

    One of my favorite memories of my time in college happened last year, a little bit after sunset in the soccer field behind Poole. The ground was wet, and slightly intoxicated four of us ran in circles in dresses and dress pants on the cold hard ground. The sky was an incredible beautiful purple and light grey, and I so vividly remember stopping and standing, completely out of my breath, watching as my friends were being tackled and cackling in Lexington’s late almost - silent night time. This moment is something I worship, because those things I felt and saw will never be recreated and they were perfect and simple and a beautiful representation of life at it’s finest. I believe in my faith.

  8. The last time I had seen him, he was a senior graduating with a major in Theater. English had been his major while he and I lived through “Literary Interpretations,” a class with a deadly name and a worse reputation. When I was asked to teach it, I figured I would stick to the cannon. So we read lengthy novels rich with insights about Americans in the nineteenth-century, books like The Rise of Silas Lapham. By the time the class was over, Patrick had renamed the title character Laugham—one of our standing jokes that semester. I was never sure if the new name connoted fondness or ingenious ridicule.

    Two years later Facebook delivered news that Patrick had become a magician. When his magic reached the New York Magazine, I inquired about parallels between Patrick’s achievements and Lapham’s upward mobility more than a century earlier. Patrick did not hesitate. He responded that Laugham forfeited his fortune in favor of moral righteousness while Patrick sold out his dignity for a mention on what appeared to be a food blog. I marveled at Patrick’s ability to put theater and brains to good use.

    Two nights ago I saw Patrick again. We swapped stories and drank cocktails in a club believed to be too hip even for hipsters. I told him of teaching about 9/11 in “Literary Interpretations,” hoping for more relevance. He told me about becoming a magician after reading a biography. He asked if I still love Faulkner. I told him why I love theater.

    After I finished a margarita garnished with cherry pop-rocks, Patrick made my ring disappear and coaxed money from my hand to the ceiling without once touching it. I did not ask, but I did want to see everything at least twice. “You know I am not really a magician,” Patrick reminded me. “If you watch me more than once, you might begin to get it.” I doubt I would have guessed into his magic. Still, I did not ask. I preferred the utterly unexplainable state of a pocket mirror reappearing three tables over.

    I believe in friendships begun despite names that evoke laughter. And I believe in Patrick’s magic, tucked in the inside pockets of a black 3-piece suit.

  9. I looked down and saw nothing but a cliff under the tiny, one-foot edge of grass I was standing on. I looked to the left and saw massively tall trees. I looked to the right and saw my climbing guide and my mom. Then, I looked up. I saw infinite possibilities filled with fear, precision and physical strain. I was caught up in taking in my surroundings when the guides voice exclaimed, for a third time “belay on.” Those two words were a green light for me to reach up high onto the rock and take my first step. Was I ready to tackle this huge rock in front of me? I wouldn’t know unless I trusted the unknown process in front of me. So I climbed without looking anywhere but the next move; I did not look at the finish like and panic, but I planned only for then next step. I climbed, and climbed and reached, and reached until I finally, somehow, made it to the top of the rock. My guide and mom looked like tiny ants on the side of the rock below me. I carefully positioned my self in a sitting position and then turned around to face what had been encompassing me all along, but at my back so I was unable to notice it. I think for a second my heart stopped beating, I stopped breathing, and my eyes were only fixed on the landscape I had positioned myself in. For those short seconds, I was only present in the beauty. Once I came to my senses again, I realized the amount of self-reflection that was beginning to pour down on me like a massive rainstorm. I became more patient, more quick to listen, and more aggressive when putting myself in the midst of beauty.
    I believe in the importance of being in the midst of natural beauty. I think it is important to take oneself out of the confusion, and busy life in order to look at your roots again. We are one of many humans on this earth, enjoying life on the same planet. It is comforting to know how little I am and how beautifully big the world is.

  10. Local legend holds that there exists a place nearby so terrifying, so dangerous that local highschoolers tremble at the thought. Frogtown Lane. Kids would say that if you made it through the road ornamented with abandoned cars, there sat a large, abandoned house. Inside lived a hermit who was friendly with a bottle of bourbon and no stranger to firing shotgun shells at snooping kids. Frogtown lacked the mystery and charm of typical urban legend, and that is part of what made it so believable. There were no ghosts or chainsaws, just a man who didn’t like intruders.

    I, being once in my life and hopefully never again a highschooler, decided I was not afraid (though I really was) and was going to pay this stranger a visit. One fateful night, myself and two of my best friends embarked on the quest. We knew this would be one of our last adventures, and the graduation caps sitting in the trunk were a solemn reminder. We set out along the country roads leading to Frogtown, passing the airport and horse farms in favor of windier and more desolate pavement. The sun had long since fallen and little moonlight pierced the canopy of early summer oak trees. At stop signs we would turn of the headlights for a brief moment for a glimpse of absolute darkness. As we neared Frogtown we passed any number of warning signs that should have derailed our journey, including dead animals that seemed to have been on the side of the road for a few days, potholes that the city wato be in no hurry to fill, and almost comically, Dedman Lane.

    One last tunnel of leaves and branches and the sign on the left glowed in our head lights. Frogtown lane loomed to our left. We turned off the music and with it went my last vestiges of courage. Though my indifferent face tried to mask it from the passenger seat, I was afraid. We moved forward slowly. The road followed a stonewall on its left shoulder, and on the right sat two or three seemingly normal houses, though they probably sheltered serial killers or whoever else would live in such a God-forsaken place. Past the last driveway basketball goal, the road gave way to gravel and bent to the right behind the treeline. Surely, these would be our dying moments. The hybrid car we rode in hummed as we slowly, painfully slowly, ascended the hill. Not a breath left my lips as we came over the hill.

    We were met with just one car, and it was definitely not abandoned. It was parked in the road next to a mobile home, wherein a yellow light glowed dimly. Beyond, we could see the path continue on, but this seemed the end of our journey. A mixture of disappointment and relief swept through the car as we all reassured each other once again that we weren’t scared. We backed out of the driveway, turned the music back on, and pulled away from Frogtown.

    On the way back we pulled off the road near the airport. We had a clear view of the runway through the fence, and we sat on the tailgate and watched planes take off and land for a few hours. With each incoming plane, we wondered why they were coming to a place like Lexington and where they were coming from, and with each outgoing plane we silently thought where we would fly to and if we would ever come back. I don’t talk to my highschool friends anymore, but I still think about them, and Frogtown, whenever I fly.

    I believe in urban legends and airports.

  11. One of the times that my Grandma Lopez tried to organize her overstuffed house, she rediscovered dozens of the tiny novels that my mother had read during her childhood. When she found them, she piled them into a garbage bag and brought them out to my mother and I. “You still want these?” We responded in near unison with, “Of course! They’re books.” We went through them all, and Mom would tell me which were her favorites and which were hardly worth the paper they were printed on. I learned that she had gotten many of these books in first few years after she moved to Obion County from Phoenix. Though she never said it, I knew that these books were the ways that she escaped from our county and from her family. This place would never become her home and she would never forgive her father for making her settle in the place she considered a hell on Earth.

    A few years later, when I was in junior high, I turned to those books for one of the same reasons she did. I finally realizing just how much my county was limiting me and how the people were trying to force me to be different than I would be on my own. Like my mother, I had the stereotypical small-southern-town problem of wanting out. Like her, I had yet to find a way to leave. I did what she did and read. I went through Bunnicula, Wait Till Helen Comes, and The Dollhouse Murders in heart beats. But I spent most of my time on her “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. The books were written in second person and at the end of each page, I given a choice. If I joined the mutineers in space, then I went to one page and continued my story there. If I acted brave and stood up to them, then I went to a different page. I learned from these books that I am not an adventurous person at all, just like my mother. I too often made a boring or safe choice, which lead to my ‘adventure’ being short and uninteresting. I redid the stories, making different choices, and eventually made myself more adventurous than I had been--at least when it came to little novels.

    Those little books have lead me to believe that an object can connect generations and learn more from the older generation. Unlike me, my mother was satisfied with the safe endings of those books. She avoided risk so much in the books and in life that she was never able to leave our county. I learned from her and chose to accept some adventure in my life. That made me able to leave Obion and continue my life elsewhere.

    1. I sometimes worry that I am too careful a person -- I identified with the way your essay speaks to the equal and opposite anxieties of complacency and chance. Let's both try to find that balance of risk/reward

  12. I believe that everything seems to work out in the end. There have been many instances which what I had planned and hoped for were different than what actually happened.

    The first half of high school I planned on going to Ohio State, following in my sister’s footsteps. Spring of junior year my parents and I were going to walk around the University of Kentucky and go to Keeneland but my mom insisted on us stopping by Transy too because she knew a couple girls who went there that liked it. After a couple eye rolls and sighs we were on Transy’s campus with an admissions counselor who showed us around be the students were in finals. I loved it, the nice weather and winnings from the horses probably helped too; I ended up not even applying to OSU and here I am in this class and on a campus I call home just because my mom forced me to get a tour.

    The summer going into freshman year of college I was training hardcore to ensure that I make the soccer team (like I had planned and hoped); I loved being on a team growing up and I did not want to lose that going into college, where I would be away from family and friends. After putting in a lot of work, I was ready in confident in going to the first practice/walk-on tryout. We left at some ungodly hour on, I think, a Saturday or Monday morning and then had fitness testing later that day. Before the second day of practice the coach pull me and one other kid aside to tell us we were not needed on the team… All of that work for only one day on the team, it sucked but it made me realize that things could be much worse; I had made an immediate group of friends and it lead to me being on another team. The fitness testing had in fact gone really well and the soccer coach offered to contact the track coach, where I am now and have made the best of friends, memories, and learn(ed) a lot about myself, so far at least.

    So yes, maybe I planned on going to big university and maybe I hoped to make the soccer team. Instead, neither happened and so far things have seemed to work out pretty well.

  13. It’s not infrequently that I am totally overwhelmed by the beauty of the setting sun. But this was not always the case. Growing up, both rooms of the house assigned to me over the years have featured a long line of east facing windows -- a source of ire for a child that held heavy curtains in contempt and found comfort in the silence of a sleeping household. I’m sorry to say that I have never had great appreciation for the morning sun. I find that in general it is not until much later in the day that I gather wits necessary to take in and appreciate life and its infinite mysteries and adventures. This is unfortunate, but still true. My dislike of the sun’s glare on the way east into town on school mornings has been historically matched only by my equal dislike of sunglasses – a winning combination to be sure. In my opinion it’s entirely too difficult to find a pair that looks quite right perched atop a German Catholic nose (thanks, mom) -- anyway, it feels a little like cheating to filter out what’s harsh in the world despite the benefits of preserved eyesight and clarity and all that. Besides, I’ve always thought crows feet made people look kind and wise, so that’s something to look forward to.

    I spent enough time squinting upward in different environs last year that there was a stretch where I felt I had pretty good grounds for a theory about the possible impact of skyscape on worldview – that is, I couldn’t really believe that people everywhere could see what I was seeing above them and not be totally changed as a result. Standing alone on the West Sands of St. Andrews, I realized I had never seen more sky at one time in my enitre life – at low tide, the water (it has a silly alliterative name I won’t try to read aloud) goes out almost a mile, just leaving this reflective surface of wet sand that goes on and on and on out in front of you. I have a friend from high school with casual interest in oceanography that confirms that this is basically magic. The resulting vista gives you, facing west on a clear evening, the impression of being totally lost and tiny in this crazy expanse of color – an experience that’s incredible to witness, difficult to describe, and impossible to capture with any real truth on film, even in panorama. This bothered me for a long time. The wonder I felt in those moments when the world felt so huge and incredible was something I wanted to preserve forever. I’m still sort of upset that I forgot my camera that night during the last week, when the horizon disappeared into a perfect gradient of pinks and blues, but I know I would have been disappointed with the result if I’d had it on hand. I think I’m getting better at accepting the transience of these moments, at coming to terms with being alone when I experience them. I’ve come to know that Kentucky also has a talent for sky, and now I believe, mostly, in taking them in and letting them pass without comment.

  14. The day before I left for college, (because of August Term, I was the first to leave) My friends and I got together at my house, and we were planning on watching the final Harry Potter movie. We did not watch the final Harry Potter movie. We ended up driving around randomly, and ended up in a neighboring city with lots of corn. Lots and lots of corn. So much corn. Someone decided they wanted to pick an ear of corn, so we stopped in the middle of the deserted street, they got out, and tried to get an ear of corn. They were not able to get the ear of corn off of the stalk, they accidentally pulled the entire stalk out of the ground, then panicked and brought it back into the car. That was just the beginning of the weird stuff we did. We had another friend who was sick that evening, and she couldn't make it, so we found traffic cones someone had leftover in their garage from driving school, and put them around their car, with the corn. They also receives fish that evening, and little plastic ramekins of salsa. They really liked Salsa. Completely sober, we covered their car in random stuff, all in love.
    It eventually started storming, and we decided to stay inside. Almost. We went to taco bell and got free food, because the lightning had taken out their computers, and they were not able to take our credit cards. Free food! We settled down for the evening after that, and watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the movie that had allowed all of us to bind as we went to see it at the Esquire every weekend it played that summer. We spent a lot of summer nights together, and the final night of the summer was also spent together. Most of the group I rarely see any more, but when we do, we do similar crazy things. It is because of this night, that I believe in high school friends. We will always have the memory of that night to bond us together, and in 10, or 15 years I guarantee someone will use whatever form of technology is popular to remind others of that night, and we will connect again over the crazy stuff we decided to do. I believe that goodbye is not always goodbye, and that memories of the times we spent together will bring us back together someday, when we are not all stressed out and crazy with college.

  15. I believe in doing things at the last minute.

    The question of motivation is one that puzzles scholars of all colors. Be it education scholars, business people, or just your own mother. What and how to motivate people is constantly being questioned in education courses all throughout the world; simultaneously the question of “Why did I wait until the last minute to write this?” is buzzing through the mind of many a student. No answer will ever satisfy everyone, but this is a ”What I believe” essay after all.

    In high school I was not the cool fonzie-esque person that sits before you now. I was more in line with being the wild card that was introverted. So I would do things such as walk backwards, or be a minute late to class, or open a fully functional business and store in the middle of our school. Wildcard things. One thing I’ve always liked to a degree is the idea of being an actor, so in freshman year when we read Romeo and Juliet and we were given the choice to do one of multiple assignments AND one of those was to reenact a scene from romeo and juliet, let’s just saying I know my calling when it rang.

    First, I had to wait until the week before it was due.

    Second thing was to get a rag tag team together to do this. [Enter; Bryan “Brye” Wright, Dustin “Peanut” Pennington, Greg “Tries way too hard” Brakke, Christopher “Duncan” Duncan, and the lovely Nastiya Perevozchikova] Got it. Now we had to pick a scene.

    SCENE 5 ACT 3

    In this scene Romeo (Me) fights Tybalt (Bryan) kills him and enters the tomb only find Juliet (Nastiya) dead and being rationale boy he is (me again) kills himself. I should note here we decided to modernize the scene with flashlights and lines such as “Come at me, babycakes”

    The stage was set, the local park, the cameraman was hired (Matthew “Beacon” Brown) and all we had to was wait for dark.

    Aaaand the dark came and it was time to film. The scene was eehh, but more importantly when the cameraman tried to get the film out, it wouldn’t budge. All our half-assed hard work was going to be ruined by a faulty hinge.

    We came into class (We filmed the day before it was due of course) told our teacher what happened and if we could have another day. With a smile on his face Mr. Adkins said, “Well you can just give a live a performance”

    And we did and totally nailed it. No rehearsal either. Got a solid A for all our last minute work.

    So how does this story relate to believing in doing work at the last minute? Well it shows that all the way back to freshman year in highschool to now, I still do it and if I’ve done it for that long I might as well start believing in it.

    1. If you look at the timestamp of my essay, you can see that I can be at fault for the last minute. Analysis Paralysis seems to take over me whenever I have something to work with. I would pay to see this lost film of yours.

  16. A brief history of love and crafts
    The first year of high school was when this journey happened. I do not what inspired me to do it, maybe it was something I saw back then or the entropy of the world was working on me, but I started to create art. It was a few art deco bracelets, cog earrings, and a nut and bolt sculpture for my significant other back then. I remember the praise and 'cool factor' I got, I recall even turning those pieces into the Beta convention. Although Michael's Bought beads bested my scrap work, it never really bothered me.
    I remember sophomore year where I spent meticulous hours making this mod-esque bracelet to woo a person I admire back then. This baby had it all, an old sterling silver piece that was like an upside down chandelier adorned with tiny balls of assorted colors. She declined the piece in front of the class. Being the high schooler I was, my angst raged and I hastily asked my teacher if I could recite this monologue for a class project. I did not tell my teacher that I was doing this as an excuse to vent out and say “fuck” multiple times since this monologue came from a movie that was over my head yet I just wanted to vent out. Somewhere in the world someone has a recording of a gangly teenager saying “fuck everyone” in a scratchy deep voice (which I shudder in the off chance it resurfaces). After that, my teacher wanted to see what I would speak after. Besides a few blips in junior year and beyond, my crafting career went kaput.
    In modern times however, I have found that there has been a restirring. Maybe I have become a (lucky) victim of the familiarity principle but having Shearer as my second dorm has caused me to start making more crafts for others. Unlike the past however, these objects are not being made for relations that are ephemeral. Either it being Occam's actual razor or a paper sign turned woodburned, I have found that the recipients of my gifts are now mentors, friends, and professors. These have just been some of the rattling thoughts in my head recently but now, I firmly believe that I am creating art for individuals who truly matter.